They named a Kink & D/s sim for my Real Life religion – offensive?

RastaSim.png

Location of this pic:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rasta/116/99/22

Consider this analogy:

Says it is D/s inspired. If I got a sim and named it ‘Jew’ and made it a place for Southern Biker gang RP, would that be offensive? Yes. But would it be offensive enough to get pulled? Think on that.

I use that analogy because ‘Southern Biker Gang RP’ is not offensive by itself. D/s and Kink people are perfectly legitimate roleplays in Second Life. I don’t get them or agree with them, but I accept them and accept that people should have a space to self explore themes of importance to them as long as it is not hateful to others.

It is the mix I am trying to get across in that analogy… If you took a theme that is way out of step with a real world faith community, and named it after that community… isn’t that crossing a line?

Let alone that if you names a sim ‘Jew’ or ‘Muslim’ or ‘Catholic’ it would and should get heightened scrutiny…

How should I act over this. I know how I feel over it.

This is not what Rasta is about. In fact its pretty much in opposition to what Rasta is.

Now for contrast look at this sim:

RastasSim_001
Not only do I not mind this one, I kind of want to get a Linden Home here. Except it turns out this is just a park sim and the homes in the background there are all just across the sim border.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rastas/96/38/41

Why the difference? This second place is neutral in tone. No reference to any theme in the sim itself. And as a park sim, a place that is named for a real world religious community cannot get ‘messed with’ by people with bad intent or lack of knowledge.

I could actually feel a sense of comfort if I won the Linden Home lottery and got a spot bordering there.

 

And yes I know that as I am a sometimes SL Nudist people will wonder why I am objecting to a sim with the above mixed themes. But again I’m not objecting to the themes – I’m objecting to them being placed within the specific context of a sim named for my religion.

PS: Comments from random bigots pointing out how they could ‘find anything to get offended about’ will be deleted for the bigoted spam that they are…

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About Rastafari – a notecard now available in SL

EDIT: The build mentioned below is long gone. But the card is now here:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bay%20City%20-%20Morton/33/115/26


I put together a notecard in Second Life on Rastafari, and have placed it into all of the many Rasta and Haile Selassie Posters I have there. It is available at this church here:
Rastafari church in second life
Ethiopian Rastafarian Church in Second Life
In the Lion of Judah sign above the entrance, and on a Selassie painting inside the door. Just click on either of them to get it. Or read below:


ORIGINS:

The Rastafari movement, or Rasta, is a spiritual movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, out of the teachings and prophesy of Marcus Garvey.

Rastafari adherents revere Haile Selassie I, 225th in the line of King Solomon, King of Kings and Lion of Judah, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as Yeshua incarnate, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Yeshua Christ.

Members of the Rastafari movement are known as Rastas, or Rastafari. The movement is sometimes referred to as “Rastafarianism”, but this term is considered derogatory and offensive by some Rastas, who, being highly critical of “isms” (which they see as a typical part of “Babylon culture”), dislike being labelled as an “ism” themselves.

The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the pre-regnal title of Haile Selassie I, composed of Amharic Ras (literally “Head”, an Ethiopian title equivalent to Duke), and Haile Selassie’s pre-regnal given name, Tafari. Rastafari are generally distinguished for asserting the doctrine that Haile Selassie I, the former and final Emperor of Ethiopia, is another incarnation of the Christian God, called Jah. Most see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, who is the second coming of Yeshua Christ onto the earth, but to others he is simply Jah’s chosen king on earth.

Many elements of Rastafari reflect its origins in Jamaica, a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black African descendants of slaves.

TENETS:

In line with the teachings of the Kebra Negast, telling the story of the removal of the Ark of the covenant from Jerusalem to Ethiopia (where it still resides today) by the Ethiopian King Menelik I, son of King Solomon and Makeda (The Queen of Sheba); Rastas sometimes refer to themselves and Ethiopians as the true Israelites.

Rastafari rejects western society, called Babylon (from the metaphorical Babylon of the Christian New Testament), for its false prophets and materialistic deception, preferring to look back to the Bible to find the true teachings of Yeshua Christ.

Rastafari proclaims Africa (also “Zion”) as the original birthplace of mankind, and from the beginning of the movement the call to repatriation to Africa for the descendants of those slaves forced into exile in the West by the Atlantic slave trade has been a central theme. Rasta also embraces various Afrocentric and Pan-African social and political aspirations, such as the sociopolitical views and teachings of Jamaican publicist, organizer, and black nationalist Marcus Garvey (also often regarded as a prophet).

However Per Haile Selassie’s consistent lifelong message, Rastas are firm adherents to the proposition that in the eyes of Jah, all men and women deserve equal and just rights, treatment and respect. With both King Alpha and his Queen Omega as shining examples, Rasta bredren and sistren (collectively idren) seek to emulate kings and queens according mutual respect and dignity. It is this belief in equality among Rastas that allows race to be overlooked. Simply because one is white does not mean it can not be a Rasta. All people are equal, regardless of race, because all people are children of Jah. In upholding this, Rastas often refer to themselves as African royalty, using honorifics such as Prince or King, Princess or Empress, in order to give royalty to their names.

Rastafari is not a highly organized religion; it is a movement and an ideology. Many Rastas say that it is not a “religion” at all, but a “Way of Life”. Many Rastas do not claim any sect or denomination, and thus encourage one another to find faith and inspiration within themselves.

This view is more in line with first century Christianity and the Apostolic teachings – which strove against central leadership, had no priesthood nor pastors, and found the church as a body of equal people, all of whom had equal status to speak in gatherings, rather than a building or temple. In this way, Rastafari comes closer to original Christianity.

But some do identify strongly with one of the “mansions of Rastafari” — the three most prominent of these being the Nyahbinghi, the Bobo Ashanti and the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

Today, awareness of the Rastafari movement has spread throughout much of the world, largely through interest generated by reggae music, especially the major international success of Jamaican singer/songwriter Bob Marley (1945–1981). By 1997, there were, according to one estimate, around one million Rastafari faithful worldwide. In the 2001 Jamaican census, 24,020 individuals (less than 1 percent of the population) identified themselves as Rastafarians. Other sources have estimated that in the 2000s they formed “about 5 percent of the population” of Jamaica, or have conjectured that “there are perhaps as many as 100,000 Rastafarians in Jamaica”.

SYMBOLISM:

Rastas assert that their original African languages were stolen from them when they were taken into captivity as part of the slave trade, and that English is an imposed colonial language. Their remedy has been the creation of a modified vocabulary and dialect known as “Iyaric”, reflecting their desire to take language forward and to confront the society they call Babylon. To this effect, Rastas revere Patwas, the indigenous dialect of Jamaica, and have incorporated into it a number of terms of a spiritual and or protest nature.

The wearing of dreadlocks is very closely associated with the movement, though not universal among, nor exclusive to, its adherents. Rastas maintain that locks are supported by Leviticus 21:5 (“They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in the flesh.”) and the Nazirite vow in Numbers 6:5 (“All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.”).

The Rastafarian colors of green, gold and red (sometimes also including black) are very commonly sported on Rastafarian flag, badges, posters etc. The green, gold and red are the colors of the Ethiopian flag and show the loyalty Rastafari feel towards the Ethiopian state in the reign of King Selassie. The red, black and green were the colors used to represent Africa by the Marcus Garvey movement. Red is said to signify the blood of martyrs, green the vegetation and beauty of Ethiopia, and gold the wealth of Africa.

The Lion of Judah is an important symbol to Rastas, for several reasons. The lion appears on the Imperial Ethiopian flag, used in Haile Selassie I’s Ethiopia. In addition, the Ge’ez title Mo’a Anbesa Ze’imnegede Yihuda (“Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah”) has been applied to Ethiopian Emperors since time immemorial, traditionally beginning with Menelik I, said to be the son of king Solomon (c. 980 BC). The Lion of Judah is also mentioned in the Book of Revelation 5:5, in reference to the returned Messiah.

Rastafari make regular use of the colors, the Lion of Judah, and representations of Haile Selassie in their art and identifying imagery. The colors as well as images of hemp have often been appropriated by outside elements for commercial representations of reggae.

DIET:

Many Rastas eat limited types of meat in accordance with the dietary Laws of the Old Testament; they do not eat shellfish or pork. Others abstain from all meat and flesh whatsoever, asserting that to touch meat is to touch death, and is therefore a violation of the Nazirite vow. Many Rastafari maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet all of the time. Food approved for Rastafari is called ital.

Usage of drugs and alcohol is also highly condemned as unhealthy to the Rastafari way of life, partly because it is seen as a tool of Babylon to confuse people, and partly because placing something that is pickled and fermented within oneself is felt to be much like turning the body (the Temple) into a “cemetery”.

The Rastafari movement encompasses the spiritual use of cannabis (Revelation 22:2, Genesis 1:29, Psalms 104:14, Proverbs 15:17), the first plant to grow on King Solomon’s grave.

For Rastas, smoking cannabis, usually known as herb, weed, sinsemilla (Spanish for ‘without seeds’), or ganja (from the Sanskrit word ganjika, used in ancient India), is a spiritual act, often accompanied by Bible study; they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. They often burn the herb when in need of insight from Jah.

According to many Rastas, the illegality of cannabis in many nations is evidence that persecution of Rastafari is a reality. They are not surprised that it is illegal, seeing it as a powerful substance that opens people’s minds to the truth — something the Babylon system, they reason, clearly does not want. They contrast it to alcohol and other drugs, which they feel destroy the mind. This said, it is not necessary to smoke the herb to be Rasta, though it is unusual not to. This blog’s author, Pussycat Catnap, does not use the herb for personal familial reasons.

MUSIC:

Music has long played an integral role in Rastafari, and the connection between the movement and various kinds of music has become well known, due to the international fame of reggae musicians such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

Nyabinghi chants are played at worship ceremonies called grounations, that include drumming, chanting and dancing, along with prayer and ritual smoking of cannabis. The name Nyabinghi comes from an East African movement from the 1850s to the 1950s that was led by people who militarily opposed European imperialism. This form of Nyabinghi was centered around Muhumusa, a healing woman from Uganda who organized resistance against German colonialists. In Jamaica, the concepts of Nyabinghi were appropriated for similar anti-colonial efforts, and it is often danced to invoke the power of Jah against an oppressor.

African music survived slavery because many slaveowners encouraged it as a method of keeping morale high. Afro-Caribbean music arose with the influx of influences from the native peoples of Jamaica, as well as the European slaveowners.

Another style of Rastafari music is called burru drumming, first played in the Parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, and then in West Kingston. Burru was later introduced to the burgeoning Rasta community in Kingston by a Jamaican musician named Count Ossie. He mentored many influential Jamaican ska, rock steady, and reggae musicians. Through his tutelage, they began combining New Orleans R&B, folk mento, jonkanoo, kumina, and revival zion into a unique sound. The burru style, which centers on three drums — the bass, the alto fundeh, and the repeater — would later be copied by hip hop DJs.

Reggae was born amidst poor blacks in Trenchtown, the main ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica, who listened to radio stations from the United States. Jamaican musicians, many of them Rastas, soon blended traditional Jamaican folk music and drumming with American R&B, and jazz into ska, that later developed into reggae under the influence of soul.

Reggae began to enter international consciousness in the early 1970s, and Rastafari mushroomed in popularity internationally, largely due to the fame of Bob Marley, who actively and devoutly preached Rastafari, incorporating Nyabinghi and Rastafarian chanting into his music, lyrics and album covers. Songs like “Rastaman Chant” led to the movement and reggae music being seen as closely intertwined in the consciousness of audiences across the world. Other famous reggae musicians with strong Rastafarian elements in their music include Peter Tosh, Freddie McGregor, Toots & the Maytals, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, Prince Lincoln Thompson, Bunny Wailer, Prince Far I, Israel Vibration, The Congos, Adrian Nones, Cornell Campbell, Dennis Brown, Snoop Lion and hundreds more.

In the 21st century, Rastafari sentiments are spread through roots reggae and dancehall, subgroups of reggae music, with many of their most important proponents promoting the Rastafari religion, such as Capleton, Sizzla, Anthony B, Barrington Levy, Jah Mason, Pressure, Midnite, Natural Black, Luciano, Cocoa Tea, Jah Cure and Richie Spice. Several of these acts have gained mainstream success and frequently appear on the popular music charts. Most recently artists such as Damian Marley (son of Bob Marley), Alborosie and Million Stylez have blended hip-hop with reggae to re-energize classic Rastafari issues such as social injustice, revolution and the honor and responsibility of parenthood using contemporary musical style.

More reading:
Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey
Selected Speeches of Haile Selassie
The Rastafarians
The Abridged Kebra Negast, with stories of Jamaica added.
The Kebra Negast in full, translated into English
The Autobiography of Hailie Selassie, volume 1. or online

Rastafarian.net – the questions and answers on the first page are great

Why Jah? (why that word)

Today’s post is -NOT- about Second Life, but about how Rastafarians refer to the most high; Jah.

This is no scholarly article, just my insights. In fact this is pretty far from scholarly. :p

You will often see Western Christians make judgmental statements such as “there is only one God and his name is God, there is only one Christ and his name is Jesus.”

– As if English was the language of the Bible.

It wasn’t. “Jesus” didn’t grow up in Jersey, he came from Galilee.

Both of these words are translations. One of them is even a pagan word.

Yet I have lost count of the many times that I have heard people accuse Rastafarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses of not being followers of the faith because we (the both of us), use the words ‘Jah’ and ‘Yeshua’ rather than the modern western-Christian English words.

Look up the etymology of the word god. It refers to pagan germanic dieties. Think about that when you use that word.

So why Jah? Why do Rastafarians (and often Jehovah’s Witnesses as well) use the word Jah?

In short, its the Hebrew word – somewhat. The etymology entry is rather brief. Wikipedia will give you a bit more information.

The spelling started with a ‘Y’ instead of ‘J’ – with the Hebrew Bible using ‘J’ some 50 times. The Hebrew letter for ‘J’ being only about 500 years old. But that doesn’t mean that, lacking a letter for ‘J’, we can just toss in any old word…

‘J’ or ‘Y’, there is importance to this word. Its tradition, its in there in that book, and it pops up over and over again for a reason. We don’t call the Lord ‘Thor’ or ‘Zeus’, or ‘Mars’ for a -reason-. We probably shouldn’t be using the title of those guys either.


As to the other comment, ‘Jesus’ – this is an improper translation. It should be Yeshua. This is not as bad as the above example. The goal here was to say ‘Yeshua’, and in old enough versions of English, you would pronounce ‘Jesus’ somewhat closer to the ‘Yeh-Shu-Ah’ that it is supposed to sound like.

Wikipedia’s entry on Yeshua is not very illuminating.
– Just has a tiny note at the top and a link to a page that only refers to him by the English name save for in footnotes.

This is more insightful:
http://jesusisajew.org/YESHUA.php
(if that URL offends you because you don’t think he was actually from Israel but from Liverpool or Brooklyn or something… just read the article anyway please…)
Various Wikipedia articles on Jesus cover the name transliteration history. But they quickly then go back to the English word.

The name Jesus is a transliteration of the Greek transliteration, that over time has lost its proper pronunciation as the English language went through significant changes in the last 2000 years at the hands of illiterate people, who, on finding Bibles and learning to reading – had to guess based on the language they spoke at what their forebears had written.

Yeshua though, is a very specific word with a very particular meaning in Hebrew:
Salvation from the Lord.

While it was not a unique name, despite that meaning… perhaps its important that we pay some respect to Christ having been given that name rather than say “Frank” or “Bubba”.

Someone might have been trying to get a bit of a message across in using that name…

When you hit rock bottom – every direction looks like up, but not all are.


Another relative passed away recently.

I’ve mentioned some violent deaths among my kin and friends of kin before. But this one is significant. Perhaps the most important. Yet I feel very little over it.

My maternal Grandfather. He passed away peacefully, at a ripe old age, in his own home, on his own terms.

He is also the sole reason that my mother was the only person in her entire family who was not a junkie. Or perhaps I should flip that to give you a better idea of things: He is the sole reason everyone in my mother’s family -IS- a junkie. My mother’s escape was quite literal: she ran away and grew up in jail after every attempt to place her somewhere resulted in yet another flight.

And I thank Jah very often that my mother grew up in jail.

This all began, as a number of my blogs do, as a comment in somebody else’s blog. But I’m holding that comment back because it really took their article in the wrong direction.

Lets just say than when you hit rock bottom – any direction appears to be up.

The topic of the day on the blog in question was about ‘negging’ as a come-on strategy. The sort who walk up to you and just demand the action, with little else to say – and often with some derogation against you included in the demand.

It reminded of a roommate from the 90s, and I had made this comment:

“Or is this the phenomenon known as “negging”, where members of what’s called the “pick-up artist community” disparage women until their self-esteem is eroded until they will sleep with, well, pick-up artists?”

Had a male roommate in the early 90s whose RL pickup lines were like that. Sort of a ‘b—-! come s— my c—‘…
(a line I saw him use and succeed with on a complete stranger outside the ‘stop and rob’ near the apartment one afternoon).

Shockingly… he was amazingly successful, and there was a different woman on his arm almost daily. Tried to chat with one waiting in our living room one night, as he was still busy with the one in line before her… and it was like speaking to a Martian… She was also one of the few I saw who I could not see signs of being ‘strung out’ on, thus my attempt at conversation…

(I did talk her into walking out the door rather than waiting, via a polite ‘WTF are doing here?’)

Was only a roommate for about 2 months though… was not a scene I wanted to be around, and he was severely unstable… It was one of those sudden “Crap, I need to make rent, anybody got somebody willing to take a room?” situations.

That made me want to reflect more deeply, and expound on what sort of world this reality exists in. How I come to have been in such a place, and what sort of people are in that place… ties directly to that relative’s path through my family.

But first to the “negging” scene. The thing with the “strung out” crowd is that many ‘mind enhancing substances’ drive up the libido to the point of self-injury. And not talking just emotional self injury or risky conduct; but people who will ‘screw’ till they bleed…
– Plenty of easy action to be had outside a crack den…

I’ve been to the bottom, I was born there, and raised one precarious step above it (as I said above, momma was the -only- person in her family -not- a junkie solely because she grew up in a jail cell as a runaway).

But I kept the “substances” away, which let me figure out which of those directions actually was up. However I’ve met the “type” as a result. People who think ‘negging’ works – often skip over the details of the scene in which it works (do you REALLY want to get your action at a crack den? Think about it). Try that “negging” out of that scene and you’re not a welcome presence.

(Try it in that scene and you are aiming straight for the direction labeled “down”. And we all know how gravity works: very easy to go down, once you start falling.)

I’m pretty sensitive to these types in Second Life as well (oh yes, this is a Second Life blog article after all, not just a bio one).
– but not because I find them rude and annoying.
– because they remind of a certain world I’ve been to – and when I meet them they feel like the sorts of people who try to ‘drag you back’ when you become visibly one of the ones able to escape.

Babylon doesn’t like people finding the keys to the gate.

Seeing the scene play out, even in Second Life; one just wants to yell back:
“Buddy… you have no idea what kind of scene you’re playing with there… I’d get over that kind of thinking fast, because if you carry it into your real life, you’re headed for a world of hurt.”

Roleplay has its place, and its too far excesses. But we’re not even talking about the roleplayers here.

We’re talking about the sorts mentioned in this blog, and this one (the second blog is the example used in the first blog to explain one among many motivations for a curious -other- scene that blogger commented on – namely why so many straight folks end up in a woman only Second Life scene).

This is a sort of people who come in to Second Life with a very negative set of behavioral patterns. This is not just the narcissistic ‘me first’ ‘liberty over equal rights’ crowd… this is the sort who seek harmful conduct. They seek others to use and abuse.

There are always folks at the bottom who feel the way to stay off the floor is to feed off of those already there. But if you conduct yourself like a scumbag, you’re going to fill up with scum…

There are even more of these folks at the top of the heap on a material scale, about be-it often below the bottom in other ways.

But enough about the predators.

What about those people my once roommate was able to catch with such amazing lines as he had… “Negging” works, but on whom and why – and what’s that got to do with Second Life?

We always hear the saying that, when you’re at the top, there’s nowhere left to go but down, and conversely; when you hit rock bottom, you can only go up.

But if you’ve ever been to the bottom… and kept your wits while there…

Not every direction is up.

Its a great analogy that you can only go North from the South Pole, but the truth is, its even easier to go “Souther”. When any direction looks like up, because it just seems to be that bad – desperation can lead to very bad choices. Self esteem can come crashing down. And what might have sounded insane before, can sound almost kind and helpful in a world full of hurt.

Been there, seen the scene. Nibbled a little on the poisoned offers – everyone has their dark moments in desperation. But I’m here now because I didn’t take the full bite.

I suppose its a little like this for the abusers as well. When you hit that bottom, your sense of things gets altered. Your notions of what is right get off. You might lose the sensitivity that makes you realize the harm of your conduct. You might lose the ability to take happiness in creating happiness among those around you. That’s the point of utter desperation.

As long as you are still a victim – as long as you can still feel – you are still alive, and you can find the direction in the mess which is up. The real bottom, the real south from which there is no other path – that’s not where the victim lies. Its where those who have lost empathy stand.

In addiction therapy, those programs with all their steps, it often begins with the whole ‘higher power’ lesson. There are many ways to look at that – and in truth as a person from a background rooted among ‘subjugated people’ that lesson has always felt like ‘make yourself a slave to become redeemed.’

And here’s an Second Life connection for you. So many in Second Life seek relationships about power – submitting oneself to another as a form of shelter, protection, so-called love.

And now I’m going to get a little preachy on folks.

There is no love between a master and a slave. Only power.

That way is a path of abuse. Love is not about control. Love has no ranks. Love is about freedom, equality, empowerment.

The master and submissive dynamic fulfills a sense of stability, give each party the sensation of having one who cares for them. Either you have a submissive devoted to meeting all of your needs, or you have a master giving you a strong guiding hand. But each is a constrained soul using a distraction to feed a need. Like a drug that hits your pleasure center – you seem to be happy, but lack fulfillment and lack any of the gains that would naturally trigger that pleasure.

Compare that drug to exercise – athletes get that same rush to the pleasure center from working their bodies into a peak of fitness. They get it naturally – its a “reward” for doing those things that will help them to live a longer, more fit and enabling life. Any one of them could skip all that hard work and hit the crack house for the same thrill of pleasure… (and some who fall do) but without any of the gains of good health.

The master and submissive are getting their ‘relationship endorphin’ – without the gains of a true loving bond. No empowerment, no partnership to push a pair twice as far as an individual, no real trust.

Trust is the most common thing they will claim to have – but they have the trust that limits set up will not be crossed. I’ve known this trust before. Its like the trust in a gang; these people won’t knife you, and will knife anyone who does. That’s a false trust. It isn’t really looking out for everyone’s best interests. You’re trusting that person to not take you further down; hurt me to a limit, but no more – a false trust. Not trusting in the whole to move up.

I think this happens so much in Second Life because it often is a lonely hearts club around here. So many of Second Life’s users are people seeking companionship. And like the crack house – a relationship built on power dynamics is very easy to define and ‘sign on to’. Roles are clear, terms are clear, parties can enter into it on a very “deep” level before even knowing each other – and the rush is so easy to obtain that it can seem meaningful in an instant.


What I learned to see when I was at the bottom, was that that higher power was not about submitting myself to a master, but about learning to find the strength within that Jah puts in all of us. You find that strength – you learn to see the beauty of creation while under the foot of Babylon, and you can lift your head up high, stand up, become empowered in spirit and walk with the most high. At that point, you will begin to find the way up.

Told you I’d get a little preachy. 🙂

Good, caring, loving paths in life are always about empowerment. Empower yourself, empower others – rise up all of Jah Jah’s children.

Jah “leads” by showing us how to walk the path and enrich each other. That leadership is about loving your brethren and bringing peace to all you can.

The amazing thing about empowering someone, is how much it empowers oneself – and that ‘rush of pleasure’ one can get from seeing a smile on another, or seeing another achieve what they had only dreamed of.

That’s the higher power you seek out when at the bottom. The higher power of Jah’s love within – to become Stronger in soul, so you can find a path to walk.

The direction that really is up, you find the guidance within for that from a ‘higher power’; Jah if you will – by finding your centered strength of self. Putting yourself in a position of dependency, or dominance, victim, or abuser – these are not paths ‘up’. They are not way to enlightenment. They are roads into darkness.

The ‘Negging’ culture works, because in that darkness, many will seek any shadowy corner for shelter, lost and confused in self doubt about where and how to proceed, they’ll let a cold skeletal hand take them on a journey sooner than standing up and shining a light from within. That light from within is a hard path to trod.

In the famous Christian poem where a man asks why, in the darkess of times, he only saw one pair of feet in the sand – that is Jah coming within the person to help him find his way in the darkness. Helping him trod that path with determination, on the road up out of darkness.

I feel I’ve been moving through several different points here. What drives a certain few scenes – how when someone would feel ok using such abusive conduct, another might accept it. But more importantly – how there are paths out, but one has to look within to one’s connection to a higher power to find them.

Now I’m reminded of another Christian parable, the sone “Shine your light on me” – that’s close. We all have that light within us. Jah puts that strength there. You can feel it in moments of insight and joy. It can guide you in moments of darkness.

My path out, from a very wretched state in my youth – was a long and soulful journey to discover this in a desperation to not fall into the path of my kin.

Jah Love Everyone

On this day of love let us not forget the love of the most high Jah.

Love is something to share with all humanity, something beyond the personal bonds we share.

When Rasta says ‘Jah Love’ it is meant to remind of the love of Jah, and that the covenant to ‘love they neighbor’ is a universal calling, a duty upon us all to bring about a better world on the path to Zion.

Jah Love everyone.

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